For the first time in a long time I’m very underwhelmed with the jerseys that Barcelona and Real Madrid are going with this season. Barcelona really went in a simple direction this year and that decision is not paying off in my opinion. Traditionally Barca has wore a home kit with blue and red vertical stripes but this year they’ve changed to horizontal for the first time in the club’s history. It’s hard to get used to I’m not going to lie. Nike claims the inspiration for the horizontal switch is from the “Blaugrana flags” flying in the stands at Camp Nou. After seeing something consistently done year in and year out and then all of a sudden that changes it’s hard to adapt to. I guess it’s like seeing Coca Cola in a different can, you know its Coke and it tastes the same but it doesn’t look right.
Their away kit from the front looks like a packet of mustard you’d put on your hotdog. It’s an organish-yellow color which is inspired by the Catalan Flag, the “Senyera”. Catalonia is the region of Spain where the city of Barcelona resides. The back of the jersey boasts red vertical stripes which turns that part of the jersey into a spitting replica of the flag. A few years ago Barcelona did the Catalan Flag idea perfectly but this year they definitely failed the test. The third kit, which is not actually in FIFA 16, is a plain neon blue highlighter color with gradient black on the arm sleeves. It’s a direct sibling of Manchester City’s green alternate uniform which is from the same Nike template. Nike didn’t really put much effort into these at all, they look like something that would be wore on the training ground. I give Barcelona’s jersey this year a D+ grade.
Real Madrid’s set are slightly better but not great in any sense of the word. The classic home whites “Los Blancos” are nice and clean as they normally are. The lettering and Adidas stripes this year are grey so the entire jersey is very subtle and one note. It’s everything you’d expect Real Madrid’s home jersey to look like but nothing more. The same can be said for their alternate strip which is again part of the Adidas “Spark the Night” series and it’s a navy blue traditional shirt with a button down neck and light blue Adidas stripes. In terms of Real Madrid third kits go this is one of the better ones. It doesn’t come close to the flawless red ones of 2012 but there is no shame finishing second to those beauties. This navy release is far better than the royal blues of 2014 and purple/green (The Jokers) of 2013. The black dragon release from last year is in a world of its’ own and I don’t think any jersey can ever be compared to those on a number of fronts.
The away jersey is an interesting and modern take on a more urban style. The fabric makes the jersey look like fashionable grey cotton t-shirt. I can definitely see some hipsters in Brooklyn wearing this jersey with a pair of skinny jeans, converse all-stars and wayfair glasses. The shorts provide some contrast with a darker grey and both are trimmed with neon green accents. It’s definitely an interesting look but one I don’t think really works all that well.
The biggest statement makes in Spain, if not all of Europe are Rayo Vallecano. Not only are Rayo making a big fashion statement they are addressing real life issues and promoting tolerance. Portions of proceeds from their “unsung heroes” jersey sales (€7) will be donated to seven different charities who’s missions are tackling issues about varies types of discrimination. The rainbow striped kit has six different colors, one for each of the organizations: red is for cancer, orange is for those with disability, yellow is for those with lost hope, green is for the environment, blue is for fight against child abuse and purple is for the fight against domestic violence. The entire picture put together as a rainbow represents the seventh organization which is for LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) rights. Rayo also has a Breast Cancer awareness jersey with the pink sash and pink ribbon logo.